How and why adults should listen to youth in implementing the Sendai Framework for DRR
Key points made by UNMGCY representatives during a 2019 Global Platform on DRR workshop- PDF Version- HERE
INCLUDE US IN DRR
We want to be part of DRR decision-making. We want to be part of decision-making through concrete dialogue in ways that are non-condescending and intercontinental, with avenues for inclusive consultation and dialogues.
We want to be more than an afterthought. Too often adults decide to add youth to decision-making at the last minute when they realize they need a “youth representative,” rather than us being part of the full process as an equal stakeholder.
We want sustained and sustainable engagement (resourced, economically and geographically accessible).
We want to be prioritised from the beginning as a key actor.
We want to be part of the full process from conception to the final product. We are too often brought into consultation and dialogues, but not into the sessions that finalize the documents.
We want to be part of monitoring and evaluation.
We want adults to fully understanding barriers to participation for youth, and ensure they are accounted for in funding, access, event timing, etc. Whenever possible, go to where we are so that more diverse groups of youth can attend.
RECOGNIZE OUR VIEWS… AND LISTEN
We want to be viewed as experts in all sectors and platforms—not just on issues adults think are relevant to youth, and not only as the key “youth representative.”
We want recognition that youth are doing research in many areas.
We want to be listened to beyond our years of experience.
We want you to give children and youth feedback when consulted.
We want active listening where adults can sufficiently answer questions like: “What did you understand from my presentation?”
OFFER SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENTS
We want spaces where listening can happen outside the eco-chambers; where there are safe spaces for dissent.
We need spaces and environments where youth feel safe, confident and are encouraging to share our views. This is important so we can lose our fear of asking. We need space to ask “silly questions” without fear of feeling like we are not communicating well.
We often need confidential space to express feelings before having to present them publicly. This gives us time to develop and feel confident to express our views.
Listening to youth is not just a matter of experience, but also knowledge. The ideas of adult men and women should be collaborative.
When we are talking and sharing our views, it’s important that we know the adults understand us. This helps us to know that they are listening.
We want layman language to be used rather than formal language as a way to reach a wider group of children and youth. We believe adults need to learn to speak our language—or allow us to translate formal information into our language. This allows us to reach our peers as too often we have to adopt their language, which can shut down understanding at the local level.
Donors often fund a project, but not in how to sustain a person. For example, a youth hub is great. But if we can’t get there due to funding or a youth doesn’t know about it, it’s not helpful.
We want recognition that life is very different for youth in the global south in being able to be involved in decision-making in DRR and climate action. We want more support to be part of global and regional events, such as UN events and regional bodies like ASEAN, EU). However, we also need more support for multilateral engagement.
We know that implementing the Sendai Framework is a process not a project. We want more attention overall on how youth are involved in DRR processes with a longer timescales and vision.
TAKE ACTION FOR US & WITH US
We want our ideas translated into concrete action.
If our ideas are not incorporated, we want decision-makers to educate us about the reasons why our ideas are not being included rather than only non-inclusion
We want adults to really listen. This is where they are not just understanding our idea, but going beyond to put it into action.
BENEFIT FROM YOUTH ENGAGEMENT
We know the new things that are happening in our communities; younger people have insight and can provide input.
We recognise the importance of a collective process, rather than only raising up individual leaders. We value collective work for collective goals.
We know that good listening not only helps in creating economic and technical leaders, but leaders with social, emotional and psychological skills.
We value design thinking with a bottom-up approach that includes feedback loops.
We know that youth is a time when we shape our awareness into a better person. Greater participation helps us do so.
Youth at the GP Platform care about a diversity of issues around risk and resilience. In the workshop, they were asked to offer priorities to “Reduce Risk” and “Enhance Resilience”:
REDUCE RISK PRIORITIES
Risk-informed investment and policies (top)
Child-friendly science communication and knowledge sharing (top)
Addressing human-made disasters
Accountability on climate change issues
Data availability for the public
Use of earth observation data for areas with lack of data to support the decision-making process
Addressing vulnerable communities in war zones
Mobilisation and engagement Inclusion
Building a sustainable world through our daily habits
ENHANCE RESILIENCE PRIORITIES:
Mainstreaming DRR in educational programs (top)
Youth-Adult partnerships (top)
Investment in resilience (top)
Providing education, opportunities and vocational trainings
Equal distribution of humanitarian aid, (age/gender)
Taking special women’s needs into accounts
Innovation infrastructure design and reinforcement
Link between urbanization and micro climate in cities
Generating sustainable livelihood opportunities
Proper urban planning and development